Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Utah Savage is Remodeling

If you visit today, you will find that I'm missing some rather big pieces, some things have been moved or lost altogether--shit happens in a remodel. To make matters worse, I woke up sick today. Somehow this first upper-respiratory infection in three years has sucked my brains out. So fixing this may be slow going. I may be down a bit, but I'm far from out. I was planning a party for the new year, but parties are fun even if they don't happen when planned. And especially fun if I don't have to leave home to attend.

The big thing that went missing in the remodel is my blog roll. Without that, I can't come visiting today. So please forgive my absence, I will return. And just in case this is slower going than I'd hoped (isn't it always with a remodel) HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blago's Fucking Chess Club

I've been making an effort to clean up my potty mouth this past six or eight months. My friend, blog-mate, and administrator, Phillip at Sitenoise, has inspired me to try and speak my mind without resorting to the gratuitous F-bomb just because I like the F-bomb. I'm still as foul mouthed as ever in my everyday, solitary, screaming at the TV kind of life. But linguistically speaking, I probably have more in common with Rod Blagojevich, than I'd like to admit. At least we do use the same swear words way too much.

But today Blogo showed us all that he's not only a nasty, swearing prick with bad hair, he is also a master of the down and dirty political chess game. I can imagine Rod, across the table from Fitzgerald. Rod's blowing cigar smoke in Patrick's face, and using fuckity fuck fuck fucks in every sentence, banging the timer at the last second, timing his moves for maximum impact, and in a moment of incredible strategic genius, pulling that wise old shining black knight out of thin air and saying, "Checkmate." And fuck you too Obama, while he's at it.

There are reasons to allow Burris to hold the place, quietly, graciously, while the trial we all know is coming gets in full swing. So far, other than a rather large but seemingly legal campaign contribution to Blago, there doesn't seem to be much to disqualify Burris, and as Burris pointed out in an interview this evening, Blagojevich hasn't been convicted of anything yet (except maybe the gratuitous use of the F-bomb, bad hair and a real hunger for the graft).

But Burris is qualified, and he is black in Obama's state, a state with a large and attentive black population. Burris would fill the Senate seat of the one black Senator now moved on to a much tougher job. I think it's a scandal in itself that there are so few minorities in the Congress.

Harry Reed has said the Senate will not seat a Blagojevich appointment. Since Blagojevich hasn't been convicted of a crime yet, he does have a legal right and responsibility to fill the vacant Senate seat. And he correctly understands that we only have so much time to fuck around with complicated legal wrangling over the Senate's refusal to seat a legally appointed Senator. It's a smooth move from a very slimy operator. What a fuckface!


Ghost Dansing almost always picks the song that says something essential about my reasons for avoiding or liking certain things. The minute I followed Ghost's link and heard the first few chords to this song, I said, "yes, that's why I'm staying home."


Monday, December 29, 2008

Matinee Movie Tuesday

Well it's that time again. Nick is back in town and we are going to see Slum Dog Millionaire.

And just in case you're reading from your RSS Feed, here is the link

I'll be busy in the morning getting presentable, and then there's the movie, and then I'll need to eat, and then, I read a blog or two, but I will get to you later in the day, so don't think I'm not paying attention, or skipping you. I swear before the year is over I will be by.

Thanks for the suggestion Linda Sama, we're taking your advise.

Thank You Stella for Introducing Me to Carmen Tafolla

How Shall I Tell You?
by Carmen Tafolla

after listening to the world news, the U.S. attack,
on Libya, the Soviet accident at Chernobyl, the
firing in the Persian gulf, and wondering... if...

When no soul walks the softened green
and no foot beats the pulse on crumbling brown
and no one lives to sing to rain
or soak to sun the spirit of its golden gown
to weave the many colors of the after-arch
from sky to human skin to wooded wealth
in fiber fabric beads and tusks and seeds
all leading up in rows of beauty drumbeat to black
neck, like venison in stealth

When no one lulls the child to sleep
or takes the wrinkled story's hand
or listens to the news - a wired sound
of tribe on tribe - stet now - man on man
how shall I tell you that I love you then?
how shall I touch your fingers tip to tip
and say that we were blood and human voice and friend?

Statue of

Statue of
Teeming hordes of hungry
Always wanting just a
Time of rest not waiting
Under suffocated souls
Even scared to breathe too loud

Or ask
Freedom from the

MIGRA who will hunt them down

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Part Two: I'm Now Going to Talk About the Big O After I (Finally) Got Rid of My Uterus

So, I was at war with my uterus. But life goes on even if you do spend two weeks every month PMSing like crazy and then spending one full week doubled over in agony, bleeding your guts out and hating everybody, cause they look at you sideways at just the wrong moment. Headaches, backaches, teeth grinding, nerves on edge all the damn time. Break through bleeding. I can't blame everthing on my uterus, I was after all married three times, and before and after and even during I had lovers, or so they they'd think they were.

But after the third ex-husband, I ended up, at thirty nine with the man I have referred to as first-love/last-love which I will shorten to FL/LL. He and I had the best of times and the worst of times, but most of the time he was a terrific lover. He was a bit of a show off in the love making department. Which sometimes annoyed me--a virtuoso performance is not always what you want. So the O's were big even when I still had my uterus. I prefer clitoral stimulation to bring me to orgasm without a lot of other stimulation to distract me from that singular pleasure. And it's also true that oral sex is not my favorite thing. Too much stimulation and I can't concentrate, can't turn off my mind. I have been able to orgasm with only two men in my entire life by just plain fucking. Old fashioned fucking. FL/LL was one of them, and the other's name I can't recall. It was a brief relationship shall we say. I sort of gave myself the best going away present when I left Santa Monica in late 1970. I had earlier that year terminated my one and only pregnancy for complicated reasons that will be apparent if you read my novel, Maggy. Suffice it to say, I had my reasons. Bad timing (it was one year pre Roe v Wade), wrong man, false positive VDRL, conceived on LSD--it was a pity fuck (I was on my way out the door) gone wrong. I never regretted the abortion. And so once healed, I gave myself the gift of the sexiest man around for a few days. There is such a thing as good chemistry, and the just right anatomical fit to bring forth a thundering liquefaction of a shuddering melting rippling sensation that starts deep and at the very end leaves the thighs wobbly. Uterine or vaginal? I can't tell. I don't know. Full body, yes. Anything other than old fashioned fucking not needed if everything else is going on for me. Did the man in question know what he was good at? Oh yeah. But that's out of, oh I don't know, maybe thirty men give or take... I have had men work so hard to bring me to orgasm, but I knew fairly early on, it wasn't going to happen. You can just tell these things. I could give all the instruction in the world and it wasn't going to happen. I might have loved the man for a day or two or a year or two, still, not so great the sex even with plenty of guidance.

So I'm living with FL/LL and start bleeding all the time. Once I passed day thirty in the long red flood, I went begging to my gynecologist to please, please remove the damed uterus. I was never ever ever going to have a baby. I heard no ticking of my biological clock. But I did have a breaking point with the bleeding problems and the PMS and the expense and mess, and after the last D&C which didn't stop the bleeding for more than a week, and the tests for hormone levels, which were inconclusive, I finally got the go ahead to take the damned uterus out.

The surgery was hardly a surgery at all. No scar as it was removed vaginally, and they took the cervix as well. I was told that cervical cancer is pretty risky, so why leave it if you don't need it. They did leave my ovaries in case they were still able to produce estrogen. They weren't, so I started having hot flashes fairly soon after the operation. I was put on low dose hormone replacement therapy. It immediately cured the hot flashes and has allowed me to miss almost all the worst of menopause, though I am now very post menopausal in terms of years.

The doctors orders post surgery was six weeks of no sex and taking it easy. I healed perfectly, scarless. And when next FL/LL and I had sex it was maybe the best we ever had, slow, gentle, languid. Abstinence had something to do with it. But also I felt happier more of the time, and no PMS. None. Fewer headaches, and better everything. Might have been all in my head, but I don't think so. I bloomed. I was freer in my sexual skin, more at home in my body. It not only worked as well as before, but somehow better. We had more fun in bed.

I have been asked the question if I felt uterine contractions during orgasm, and the honest to god answer is not really. I have felt pain from pounding penetration that was too deep and pushing on my uterus. I think the physiology of the orgasm for me involves my clitoris, vaginal walls, legs, and the full engagement of my mind. If I'm preoccupied, or overly tired, or worried about any little thing, it won't happen. So for this reason, I loved lazy morning sex best. Before the stress of the day had a chance to fill my head. I liked to take advantage of a morning hard-on.

I have had a three-some that involved a female friend of mine who had the hots for me. It made for great sex, but had terrible consequences for all three of us emotionally. I wanted to see if I was bisexual. Sadly, I'm not, really. But it was a thoughtless, careless way to find that out.

I have found that once you have sex with anyone it changes your relationship in a way that means you can't go back and pretend it didn't happen or that it meant nothing. I do believe that almost all sex has emotional consequences for at least one or the other of you if not both or all three.

I have never for an instant regretted the removal of my uterus, and see? No scar.

But I have had a friend or two who have had a hysterectomy because of some dire medical reason and once it was gone, they have claimed to feel less womanly, less feminine. That was not my experience. Quite the contrary. So you cannot generalize from my experience. Nor can you claim to know for sure how you would feel without a uterus if you still have a uterus. Any questions?

I'm Surprised I Did So Well


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Part One: I'm Now Going to Talk About My Missing Uterus

If this idea is horrifying to you, then now is the time to cover your eyes or run screaming from the room. But a friend of mine, Freida of the Bees, asked me a question in her comments on a recent post of hers, and a hell of a post it is by the way, about the quality of orgasm with a uterus and without a uterus. I'm in one very good position to speak about this, since there has been a before and an after. I have heard women for whom there is not an after or at least not yet, claim some expertise in this area, and I question the claimants credentials here. How can you compare something you have yet to experience from the now you know of? This is, I do believe, the very essence of existentialism.

Anyway, my uterus was always difficult. I started menstruating on the very young side of the young norm for my day and age. I was just barely eleven. And the whole thing was traumatic for a number of reasons not the least of which was that I was not expecting it. If you are curious about my menses inauspicious beginning and the big public deal made of it, and the loss I suffered as a consequence, I will refer you to the Chapter called Too Old in the novel, Maggy, linked for your convenience on my side bar But the upshot of the whole thing was years and years of pain so severe it made me throw up, and have horrible headaches, sensitivity to noise and light, and hemorrhage-like flow. So I did ask for a hysterectomy for my sixteenth birthday. Cheapskates gave me clothes that I hated, of course. I was sixteen after all. What sixteen year old girl in her right mind and rebellious stage ever likes the clothes her parents buy for her? But no way on the hysterectomy. Then my gynecologist prescribed hormones. They helped with the pain, but were not a good thing to have done in the long run. Very high dose of Premarin which cause me to have what the doctors called "break through bleeding." In other words, I bled fifteen days instead of the usual seven. And it was always a hemorrhage that left me with a great deal of embarrassment, ruined clothes, and lost days of work and school.

The dysmenorrhea and heavy bleeding led to D&C after D&C. No known cause. But everyone who treated me assumed, despite my protestations to the contrary, that I would need to keep my uterus as I would one day want children. Oh Yeah? Fat fucking chance!

So with menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea my uterus was making my hellish life worse.

To be continued...

So This Is The Real Me?

The link to this test is in the title

I did read the Ring Trilogy eons ago and loved the books, but hated the movies. Really really hated them. I'm neither a big fan of fantasy or Science Fiction. I think Ray Bradbury was the last SiFi writer I really liked. I read him when I was a kid. I have no real idea who this "me" is, but I'm assuming it/he is the "real me" even if I don't know how. I just take certain things at face value. Not like the falling dollar. I have no idea what that poor devalued currency is worth these days. It sure doesn't buy much anymore.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A naturally skilled companion to those around you, you earnestly use your prowess out of concern to those you care about.

This forest is old. Very old. Full of memory... and anger.

Legolas is a character from the Middle-Earth universe. A biography is available at Aliases: Greenleaf
Date of Birth: ?
Race: Sindarin Elf
Height: around 6 feet or more
Date of Death: N/A
Alignment: Good
Parents: Thranduil - Father, ???-Mother
Spouse: None
Date of Marriage: N/A
Children: N/A

Physical description: Tall and fair, bright eyes, hair color is debated, some say dark, others say blonde, sufficient evidence as to either is not available. He wore the attire of the Silvan elves of Mirkwood, chiefly green and brown.

Biography: Sindarin elf of the woodland realm, in the year 3019, Legolas journeyed to Rivendell to sit on the Council of Elrond, and was chosen to represent the Elves in the Fellowship. In Lorien, Legolas and Gimli became close friends, a friendship that lasted the rest of their lives. Legolas' keen sight and archery skills were his greatest asset to the Fellowship. After the Breaking of the Fellowship, Legolas went with Gimli and Aragorn in search of Merry and Pippin, and fought in the battle of Hornburg. He eventually went to Gondor, and fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields; while in Gondor, he had his first glimpse of the sea, and was overcome by a deep desire to sail from that moment on. After the War of the Ring, he journeyed with Gimli to visit the Glittering Caves and Fangorn Forest. In the Year 120 FO, after the death of Aragorn, Legolas sailed over the sea, taking Gimli the dwarf with him, the last of the Fellowship.

MOvie Notes

• Cast in this role is Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom as Legolas

Favorite Quotes

• He stands not alone " ... " would be dead before your stroke fell," to Eomer about Gimli

Thank You Liberality

by: Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

From "Ariel", 1966

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays Tom Wherever You Are

And as you may have guessed, my feet are freezing. Hope the water pipes don't.

Time Traveling

This is why a dream life is so important. I go back to places I've been before and loved. It is like time traveling. I am the young woman I was and the old woman I've become. I'm the best of both women in my dreams.

But when I was twenty one I drove down the Dalmatian Coast of Yugoslavia. Yes children, there was once a Yugoslavia. Those where the days of Tito, and every home had a framed photograph of the glorious leader near the front door. The Dalmatian Coast has now been divvied up into bits and pieces, but when I was there it was all Yugoslavia. In my real young life I traveled with two young Italian men from Rome to Trieste, the northern gulf port city on the Adriatic sea, and then followed the Yugoslavian coastline down to a small town south of Debrovnik called Split.


All the way down the coast we stayed in homes, not hotels. It was a wonderful way to get to know the people of Yugoslavia, and they were lovely, kind, generous and incredibly beautiful. The homes we stayed in were probably fairly prosperous, but still a bit primitive. I don't remember a single home with real indoor plumbing. Bedrooms had chamber pots, and showers were taken in the outdoors standing in an enclosure with a hose providing the soft cold water that I came to believe was the reason every Yugoslavian I met had shiny hair and beautiful skin and healthy, lovely teeth and smiles. And every home had at least three generations of a family living together. And still they shared what they had with us, giving up one room with several beds.

The reason the Italians were traveling to Split was to work at a Club Mediterranean on a small island off the coast. The only way to get to the island was by ferry boat that traveled between the island and Split twice a day. I stayed in town rooming in a small home close to the ferry landing. And I often spent the day on the island playing with the other world travelers while being catered to by my Italian friends and meeting travelers from all over the world. It was like a very good dream. The waters of the Adriatic sea were warm and salty soft. Every kind of water sport was available. The meals were great and the parties in the evening were fun with live music, lots of dancing and good wine and beer. And the only passport I needed there was my lovely face and form. Sad but true, the pretty can lead charmed lives. At meals I was invited to Isreal by a beautiful fierce Sabra, to Spain by a lovely Spaniard, to France by a handsome Frenchman, and so on. In the end, I decided to continue traveling with my Italian friends to Greece.

When we got to the Albanian border I was refused admittance because of my American passport. So we drove back to Dubrovnik and I took a ferry from Dubrovnik to Bari Italy. I could tell you more of this adventure, but I'll save that for another day.

The reason for this trip down memory lane was the lovely, very sexy dream I had last night. I believe I was either in Dubrovnik or Split. I was helping out in a restaurant and fell in lust with the eldest son of the owner. We were about to leave the restaurant to go to his home, but first I needed to do something that took me into one of the old streets, medieval architecture, winding passages, and then I found my way back to find this lovely man still waiting patiently. As we were about to leave, I awoke. I wanted to go back to sleep to continue this dream but my dog was standing beside the bed, waiting patiently for me to take him outside, into the frigid, snowy back yard to... Well you know.

Even now two hours later my nipples are still erect and I still feel the power of the attraction to this particularly gorgeous Yugoslavian man, waiting patiently.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yesterday I was a Monk, Today I'm a Druid, But I'll Always Be a Gemini

The link is in the title
And that's not my best picture.
The Druid

Druids are filled with a dramatic sense of wonder, viewing the world through rose-colored glasses as they watch everything come to life, from flora and fauna to mundane objects. They see the good in almost everyone and everything, yet struggle with the idea of ethical perfection (or lack thereof). They tend to turn away from the world and toward essence and ideal, and while they are concerned with all people and creatures, those things are valued only in that they are part of a greater whole; in this, they often struggle to find their place in things, and need to feel a part of whatever they are involved with. Fluent with language, they are keen to pick out patterns in people and things, although their somewhat otherworldly focus on the larger picture can lead them to seem somewhat absentminded. Nevertheless, they have a knack for explaining complex things quite simply.

Druids are often beset by Histrionic behavior, craving attention, reassurance and praise in everything they do. Emotionally exaggerated and often sexually charged, they become concerned with physical appearance, and grow uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention. Their emotions are subject to rapid shifts, and their actions are entirely self-centered, with no tolerance for delay in getting what they want. Their speech often lacks detail as their shallow emotions carry across into their dealings with others.

Oh my this does make me seem a perfect asshole, but the company is good.

Famous druid types include Homer, Shakespeare, Dick Clark, Jackie Onasis and Julia Roberts.

Hell Has Now Officially Frozen Over

Oh yeah, it looks all picture postcard pretty and everything, but it's no picnic. Ten inches of heavy white stuff that looks like cotton and weights thirty pounds a shovel full on top of rain that froze minutes after it fell and was preceded by a loud crack of thunder and a blinding flash of lightening on Christmas evening... Well it's just hell.

I tried to sleep most of the morning, but it was a challenge what with the whine of snowblowers and all. You'd think my snowblowing neighbors would be kind enough to help the Old One out with a little snowblowing help, but it seems that the only neighbors with the infernal machines are of the Mormon persuasion, and word travels fast in the cult. Once you scare the crazy old ones in group "therapy" with the two most fearsome words in Utah--Atheist and Gay, they cut you off and shun you. Oh yes they do. Charity thy name is not Mormon.

So I have just about broken my back today. And all the children of hiring age are off to the movies or hiding out pretending to be off to the movies, so I couldn't even bribe one of them to shovel this heavy load.

I bet next time "therapy" comes around the only group available to me will be a group of therapists armed with tranquilizer guns and fully ready to take me down. Oh yes. Nothing worse than a "gay atheist" on the 23 of December in a group of old Mormon's with bipolar disorder all loaded with the blessings of Jesus and Joseph Smith and thinking themselves among "friends" to find the devil in their midst and not all compliant like a good Mormon woman should be to shake their faith just a tiny bit, just enough to get out the word that no snowblowing help shall be given. Amen.

Clean Coal Snow Job

Tennessee Valley Coal Ash Spill Buries 400 Acres, Damages Homes
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, December 23, 2008 (ENS) - A retaining wall at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston coal-fired power plant collapsed early Monday morning, causing 2.6 million cubic yards of fly ash to be spilled across hundreds of acres.

The Kingston Steam Plant in Harriman, about 50 miles west of Knoxville, at the confluence of the Emory and Clinch Rivers is owned and operated by the nation's largest public utility.

The wet gray sludge buried about 400 acres six feet deep. One house was torn from its foundations, and 11 other homes were damaged and evacuated. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

TVA estimates that the cleanup could take weeks to complete and says long-term plans are being developed. Environmentalists warn that fly ash contains toxins - mercury, arsenic, and lead among others - that could seep into the ground and flow downriver.
The wet fly ash engulfed this house, one of 12 damaged in the spill. (Photo courtesy Tennessee Valley Authority)

TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said today, "Protecting the public, our employees, and the environment is TVA's primary concern as we supply electric power for the people of Tennessee Valley region."

"We deeply regret that a retention wall for ash containment at our Kingston Fossil Plant failed, resulting in an ash slide and damage to nearby homes," said Kilgore. "We are grateful no injuries have been reported, and we will take all appropriate actions to assist those affected by this situation."

TVA provided hotel rooms, meals, transportation and other immediate needs for affected residents who were not able to occupy their homes Monday night. Additional assistance is being provided by TVA as needed by affected residents. Electricity, gas and water have been restored to all homes in the area that are habitable, the TVA said.

The Swan Pond Road past the Kingston plant remains closed except for residents who live in the area whose homes are habitable. There is no estimated timeline for when the road will be reopened.

TVA Police are assisting local law enforcement with maintaining security for the homes in the affected area.

Heavy equipment including bulldozers, dump trucks, and backhoes have been brought to the site and some clearing of debris has started.

Kingston is one of TVA's larger fossil plants. It generates 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to supply the needs of about 670,000 homes in the Tennessee Valley. An adequate supply of coal is available and all nine units at Kingston continue to operate.

"This holiday disaster shows that there really isn't such a thing as a clean coal plant," said Chandra Taylor, staff attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

"From mountaintop removal mining to smokestacks spewing soot and smog to ash ponds full of toxins, coal power is dirty - plain and simple. Nobody wants to find coal in their Christmas stocking, let alone coming through their home and polluting their river,"
she said.

TVA says sampling of water downstream of the plant will continue to assess the possible effects on water quality. TVA continues to manage river flows on the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers to minimize downstream movement of the ash. There are no expected impacts to any other TVA facilities downstream.

Staff at TVA's other 10 coal-fired power plants have made visual inspections of the ash retention dikes to note any changes in conditions. The ash containment areas at all TVA's plants undergo a formal inspection annually and other inspections on a quarterly and daily basis, said the government company.

"The United States Environmental Protection Agency should immediately establish national safeguards for the disposal of coal wastes and enforceable regulations," said Taylor. "At a minimum, these safeguards should include siting restrictions, structural requirements and long-term financial assurance to clean up any resulting pollution."

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.

Nobel Prize Winning Playwright Harold Pinter Dies

Harold Pinter, prospector of 24-karat drama in the tension-racked spaces between words, died in London on Wednesday, at age 78. With his death, the pool of contemporary playwrights of international literary stature has been all but drained dry.

Although he expressed the views of a pacifist, Pinter wrote as if he held his finger on the pin of a grenade. In modernist classics such as "The Homecoming," "Old Times" and "No Man's Land," he devised characters who spoke in elliptical asides and enigmatic bursts. Violence of some nature was never out of the realm of possibility, even in his quietest plays. For Pinter was a connoisseur of subtext, of letting a story unfold on a living room set while a more savage one simmered in the crawl spaces of the mind. His characters routinely rattle each other with what never gains utterance.

His stark black-comic sensibility and economical use of language owed much to Samuel Beckett, the father of existential 20th-century drama. It was a debt that Pinter, who got his start as an actor in postwar Britain, readily acknowledged. When the Nobel Academy gave him the prize for literature in 2005, the act affirmed his link to Beckett, who had won it 36 years earlier. That they are among the few English-speaking dramatists to have received the award speaks to the nonpareil influence they both wielded over the style and force of the modern theater.

Power and turf are always at issue in Pinter. You get to see in his plays how much the anatomy of our emotional entanglements is built on ever-shifting questions of who's up and who's down.

Whether the conflict is over primacy in a Darwinian family struggle ("The Homecoming"), control of the memories of long-ago events ("Old Times") or the psychological upper hand in a metamorphosing love triangle ("Betrayal"), his works are taut battlefields. Unlike Beckett, though, whose seminal plays such as "Waiting for Godot" are placed in barren, metaphysical landscapes, Pinter's tend toward cozier, bourgeois surroundings. In his hands these spaces seem as raw and terrifying as any heath.

Audiences do, at times, engage in head-scratching over Pinter's peculiar rhythms. As noted by Peter Hall, a friend who directed many of his 30 works for the stage, the playwright's eccentric cadences were challenging for actors, too: the long silences, shorter pauses and brief hesitations were ubiquitous features of his scripts. "The actors had to understand why there were these differences," Hall explained in his 1993 autobiography. "They chafed a little, but finally accepted that what was not said often spoke as forcefully as the words themselves."

Over time, Pinter's work became more overtly political, and his vehemence drew controversy. (As a young man, he claimed status as a conscientious objector.) He was outspoken in his outrage at the invasion of Iraq, and described in a speech in 2005 his reaction to the policies of the Bush and Blair administrations as arousing nausea.

Pinter saved his subtlety for his dramatic voice. His blink-of-an-eye 1988 play "Mountain Language" painted in four short scenes the terrors of a regime that stripped a minority population of its freedom, its dignity and finally, in banning the speaking of its language, even its words. To one who used them to such captivating effect, this truly would have seemed a crime against humanity.

The Young Turks Talk About Ethics in Journalism

That Rachel, she's got class.

I'm a Monk, Who Knew?

Your result for The Pop Culture Archetype Personality Test...

The Monk

Ninja, Monkey, Zombie, Cowboy

Quizzy tests are fun for the shut ins.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Mea Kitt Dies Today

Thank you Eartha for all the good times, the earthy voice, the sassy style. We loved you, babe.

Born January 17, 1927
Died December 25, 2008

Kelso's Nuts Have Asked Me To Out Myself

I'm only too happy to comply, only I thought I did that yesterday or the day before--I'll have to look. I certainly outed myself for the entertainment of the old folks at Group Therapy on the 23rd, but Christmas seems like as good a day as any, and I never plan to get any hot male action again, so why not? I'm out.

Kelso's Nuts suggest that we all out ourselves in protest over Rev(sic) Rick Warren's appearance at the Inauguration. Fine with me. I'm not thrilled about Rick Warren getting so much free press, because I don't like what he stands for--the homophobia, the suppression of women with his anti choice (wide) stance, he's just like all the rest of them, and I'm thinking he might be a little gay himself. So, yea, I'm gay. Gay all the way.

Come out, come out, where ever you are. Speak up. Let's have a day or several of solidarity. Doesn't matter whether you're married or not. Think of yourselves as two gay people making the best of it. What'll the kids think? I don't know. They'll probably hate it. But you can explain it's for a good cause. It's in support of all our gay friends and neighbors, our gay relatives though closeted they too may be. There's a little gay in all of us, as well as a little woman living inside all you men. Yes there is. So, come out!

A Present From My Friend Stella of Swiftspeech

Stella, my first reader willing to comment, has compared my writing to that of the inimitable Dorothy Parker. I hadn't read Parker, an omission I cannot account for. But last birthday I asked for and received from my friend, Nick, The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker. And now, this Christmas, Stella has given me the Poetry of Dorothy Parker. And I will dole them out when I'm ready. But for today, I give you the one that included a very important link, and the poem that might make Stella think of me.

Neither Bloody Nor Bowed
Dorothy Parker

They say of me, and so they should,
It's doubtful if I come to good.
I see acquaintances and friends
Accumulating dividends,
And making enviable names
In science, art, and parlor games.
But I, despite expert advice,
Keep doing things I think are nice,
And though to good I never come-
Inseparable my nose and thumb!

While Visiting The Ageless Hippie Chick, I "Borrowed" This

We could pretend she gave it to me, but I really stole it. Shhhh!

A Real Christmas Present from The lovely Unconventional Conventionist

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Utah Savage is Bad in a Group

I believe almost every little thing is political. And in group therapy with a bunch of other people my age in Utah I am a badass.

I do not fit into a group here because I am the only atheist in any given group in Utah. And it really does inform my world view. I am probably the only person in any group of ten my age in Utah who knows what Prop 8 is, and I am certainly the only one in any given group who is pissed off about it. Because of my age and my mental illness, I am put in a group of other older people, and at least 75% of them are Mormon and they are in favor of Prop 8, once it's been explained to them. This just pisses me off more, so when someone asks me why does this effect me, I say, "Let's say, for instance, that I'm gay, and I'm in love with my partner, and she lives in California, and we want to get married. Why is it okay for the Mormon Church to pump $500 million into passing a constitutional amendment in California that says I can't marry the person I love, because I'm gay? Why does my being gay make me less a citizen then anyone else?" And I'm ready to take the room on in a theoretical argument about civil rights. They are baffled about my anger. They do not get it at all. I haven't completely lied, but I have misled them. I have shocked the old folks into near silence. I'm not really very nice. I just hate most people. I'm ready for a debate and we don't have time for that, and it's not our purpose here. And I know it. So yes, I am a badass.

There were two lovely black women in the group, and I liked them immediately. How racist is that. Surprise, surprise. Of course I would like them. I assume, and correctly, that they will be looking forward to the Inauguration of President Obama. So at least for as long as it takes to establish what I'm looking forward too, we have a bond, and it sets us apart from the rest of the group a bit for a few seconds at least, and I feel I have found the only two other people in the room who get me just a little tiny bit. But like most people, these women are big believers that Christ is their savior and redeemer and when push comes to shove, prayer is the answer. Yawn.

The group "leader" tries to sum things up for this group trying to cope with all kinds of loss and alienation by saying, "Well, as you all know, man is the only creature on this earth who needs others..." and I call bullshit. I say, "We are not the creatures with the biggest brains, nor are we the only animals on the planet with a sophisticated social and family structure." And then it gets a little bit interesting for a minute as one of the black women says "Yeah.. "

I'm a rebel with too many causes. Oh where to begin. The group leader looks at his watch and says, "Well we have to wrap this up..."

I know that the real reason I got sent to group was because I called the office one day last week in tears. I couldn't stop crying. I was sad, real sad. But now I feel pretty perky and smart like the badass I know I am at heart. Oh my. My bad. Naughty, Naughty.

Okay "F", I'll call soon and make an appointment for a one on one. In the meantime you can read how I'm doing on a daily basis if you have the stomach for it.

PS I know the reason I'm sad is more about my associations with Xmas because of my family "dynamic", than it does with Prop 8. I'm not that damn dumb. I also know I'm not that smart either, or I'd be nicer.

Thank You Baby Jesus

My mother was always the center of attention, even at Christmas, which she hated.

She was a stunning good looker, vivid and dark. But her eyes were an icy, striking, pale blue, and her hair (when she was younger) was almost black. She had a widow's peak, full lips, the broad high cheekbones of her Native American ancestry, and yet, the cold blue eyes of General Custer. And in much that same way she was at war within her own twisted internal world. She was born on December 23rd in 1921. She was a young child at the height of the Great Depression. It was a time when her family was trying to get away from the Oklahoma Indian Territories, and a past that shamed her and made her hate her family. She was scarred by the experience. Add to that the fact that the 25th of December belonged to the baby Jesus, well it always pissed her off. And woe to the "loved one" who didn't make more of Maggy's birthday than that of that damned baby's. And she made no secret of hating her mother and father. So much for the ten commandments. Oh yes, she did take the Lord's name in vane. Um hum.

For a woman who claimed to have no maternal instinct, she married a man with three sons in tow, which never made any sense to me, her only biological child. But when I was born it was immediately apparent to her that she had no maternal instinct. And that I was merely an attention suck. Babies are like that. Time, energy, attention. They are so needy. And talk about cry-baby. That was always the last thing she said to me as she left me sobbing. To say that my life as her only child was traumatic is mere understatement. That she left no visible evidence of my injury was shear art.

It has been pointed out to me recently that I would not be the person I am today were it not for her. Had she given me to my Aunt and Uncle Savage, I'd have been a very different woman. I might have been Pickles, or someone like her, for all we know. Cheerleader, Prom Queen, married to a Texas banker's son and popping out babies, then collecting grand babies, and normal as all get out. If a Pickles-like woman is normal. A good, God fearing Baptist woman, racist to my core, homophobic, probably fat, no doubt blonde, by now. A good upstanding cracker, like my Aunts. No offense meant to any good God fearing cracker women.

That she died on the baby Jesus' birthday is also art. She upstaged him once again, and for the first time in my life she gave me a really good gift. A gift I had been praying for for decades by then. It was the only time she ever give me what I wanted, what I asked for. Thank you Maggy. And thank you Santa, and Baby Jesus.

So why am I always sad this time of year?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bush Gets Ready To Pardon Chenney et al

Will Bush Pardon Cheney on Christmas Eve?

On Christmas Eve 1992, defeated President George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Duane Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, and Robert McFarlane for their Iran-Contra crimes. Not one served a single day in jail; Weinberger was about to go on trial and would have tied Bush himself to the scandal.

Will George W. Bush follow his father's precedent and pardon Dick Cheney and his other criminal co-conspirators this Wednesday on Christmas Eve?

Last week, Cheney was all over TV setting the stage for pardons. He admitted he personally approved torture, but insisted it destroyed Al Qaeda and saved American lives.

According to a powerful article by David Rose in Vanity Fair, the Bush-Cheney torture regime accomplished exactly the opposite. The torture photos from Abu Ghraib helped Al Qaeda's recruitment soar. U.S. officers in Iraq say torture-inspired attacks on U.S. soldiers were the #1 and #2 cause of soldiers' deaths. CIA analysts say the "intelligence" produced by torture was worthless.

On November 20, Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced H.Res. 1531 to urge Bush not to pardon his criminal co-conspirators. Nadler's bill has 9 co-sponsors but we need every Representative (and Senator) to speak out against corrupt self-pardons.

If you haven't signed our petition to Congress, please join over 48,000 who have:

Discuss this here:

Urge Eric Holder to Appoint a Special Prosecutor for Bush War Crimes

Last week three important Democrats - Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Sen. Carl Levin, and VP-elect Joe Biden - independently urged the Attorney General to investigate Dick Cheney's torture confession. A growing chorus of newspapers (NY Times) and legal scholars (John Dean, Glenn Greenwald) agrees.

Prosecution of those responsible for torture is not optional - it is required by our obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

So we've joined forces with buhdydharma and the Docudharma community to petition Obama's AG nominee, Eric Holder, to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

Holder replied after receiving a few hundred emails: "Enough folks. I hear you." That's a start, but we've asked for a formal statement. And we're collecting additional signatures to deliver when Holder goes before the Senate for confirmation hearings in January.

Please sign and spread the word!

So This Is Why Christmas Makes Me Blue

Great little piece about the Christmas blues from Salon today.

Time for a Little Quackitude

Another delightful episode of Lame Duck Watch from Rachel Maddow:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah, or Chanukah

For the best ever Hanukkah song, Karen Zipdrive has it one post down right now. Take the trip, it's worth it. It is also the first day of Winter as well as Hanukkah, and the day we have a second or two more daylight. Or maybe it's just the pause that refreshes, but for all of us it's one more day to celebrate one more day when the weather outside is frightful and the furnace is so delightful (unless the power is out--then you're screwed). But do please find a way to celebrate for at least a second or two just because.

And start thinking about January 6th. That's the day I'll be celebrating my first day of blogging. The word "blog" had to be explained to me. I had no computing skills, but I'd been writing for thirty years. I had a few pieces my friends from New York, Rachel and David, insisted I publish, and a blog was a good place to start, they said. So here we are, almost one year later. I have to stock the bar, and find a good party hat. Warn the children there might be salty language. I have cleaned up my swearing act considerably thanks to my wonderful Administrator and co-blogger, Phillip of Sitenoise. Check him out. He's a terrific friend, but only Phillip has the power to really scare me. I'm not exactly sure why. I'll have to think about that. Maybe I just need a thrill now and then, so I piss him off, and his reaction scares me. I'm probably afraid he'll eventually think I'm just too damn dumb to associate with. Strange how close you can feel to someone you've never met. He has come into my house with his voice to tinker on my side of the screen, and it's real enough to scare Roscoe, who goes searching for the man he hears. I miss you Phillip. I've been out of sorts lately. I had a bad case of the Christmas Blues. I'm afraid it's contagious.

I go a little crazy now and then. I'm doing the holiday yo yo right now. Happy one minute, sad the next, and then throw in a flash of temper and you have a savage cocktail.

(Two bloggy things I'd like to learn this year are the blog roll shout out like other smart, savvy bloggers do, like, for instance, Mock Paper Scissors. The other is the art of posting photos. Dcup does it right. Oh how I'd love to have control of where the photos are placed within my piece. Blogger has three options so far as I can see, so you get a poor presentation here. That needs to change.)

Green Trapped Within The Ice

Another Morning Of Ice On The Ceiling

This is my first glimpse light this "morning." Ice on the greenhouse glass roof. Lovely if only I could stay inside all day. Wait, maybe I can. Smokes, Check. Coffee, check. So far so good.

Winter Again

It is here for the duration now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Rachel Maddow is my new heroine giving us Quackitude. In a big way. Lame Duck Watch.

More Frightful Photos of Winter in the West

I was up wandering around in the middle of the night. I had a dream that I had a headache and had to pee real bad. So thankfully I got up and made my way to the bathroom, passing through the greenhouse room on my way. And what should I see on my way but more terrible weather? So bladder once relieved, and big honking Ibuproffen taken, I grabbed my camera and turned on the outside lights to see this through the glass of the green house. Then when I woke up this "morning," I thought I had dreamed the photo taking. See, your dreams really can come true. Just dare to dream small.

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Oh how I don't want to go out in the snow. But shoveling must be done, icicles need to be removed from the eves, the car cleaned off, the driveway cleared, the gate opened, etc, etc, etc. Just typing that made me tired. Maybe I'll take a nap instead.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh, This Is Very Bad News

From Salon today about the Obama choice of Rick Warren.

Notice to Anonymous "bloggers"

If you post a comment on my blog and you are anonymous with no back track link, and I find your comments offensive, I will delete your comments. It's my space and I do not have to give you a forum for your bullshit. So if you want a place to publish your stupid crap, start your own blog. Even if you have a blog, like the old misogynist fart BBC, when I find your comments offensive I will still delete your comments. Just so we're clear on this. This is my space. You don't have to read me, and I don't owe you a forum for your offensive material.

More Good Stuff From Rachel Maddow

Is Rod Blagejevich batshit crazy?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thank You Linda Sama

I dread Christmas for so many reasons. Usually gifts during this season just make me sad, and I'm already sad. But this came in the mail today and though I'm still crying, these are tears of gratitude. I will treasure this and do it the honor of having it framed and putting it in a place where it's the first thing I see upon waking and the last thing I see at night. Thank you Linda Sama, my Ageless Hippie Chick. I feel the love in this moment and had no idea until today how much I needed this.

The Economic Civil War

The Southern States are determined to destroy the Auto Industry in the North, thus busting the last strong Unionized Labor force in America

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More on Criminal Charges for the Chenney Gangy

From Rachel Maddow tonight. I give you her Carl Levin interview, in case you missed it. I'll begin to believe there might be a god, if only this comes to pass.

Rachel Maddow is My Christmas Present From a Grateful MSNBC

My first real Xmas present was this, then she does it again. She just keeps sending me one after another. Thanks Rachel, I love you too.

Too Damn Big

Judith Blue stands out in the parking lot and watches as two women scream at each other out their car windows. “Jesus! Will you learn to drive that thang!”
“I was here first.”
“So the fuck what! You can’t drive worth shit!”

She turns and looks at the line of women that snakes out the door and down the sidewalk in front of the small specialty stores that share this rather large strip mall with The Beefeater, the restaurant, bar, and disco she manages for Chuck. Women are beginning to push each other in front of Yin Lee’s.

“Oh god, what am I going to do now?” She thinks this aloud and the sound of her own voice startles her. A very pregnant woman gives a mighty shove at the woman in front of her, who goes down, hits the pavement on her knees, and as her hands come down on the concrete she screams, “What the…….” Judith turns toward the restaurant and starts moving as fast as she can, considering her high heels and the slope of the parking lot. She keeps thinking, ‘I didn’t know this many women lived in Springfield. Oh god, what am I going to do?’ When she gets to the doors she slips past a trio of women waiting to get past the two men stationed at the door. One of the guys guarding the door whispers in her ear as she squeezes through, “We need more wait staff.” It’s 5PM of a Tuesday night. The show doesn’t start for two hours and the place is packed already and the only men inside the place work there. Them and the cops guarding the stage in the disco.

A month ago she took this job as a lark. She needed a distraction from the faculty wives parties. When they first arrived she’d amiably gone along with the suggestions that she “participate.” The first abomination was a tea for faculty wives. Full dress regalia, it looked for all the world like the Junior League and the DAR all wrapped into one. Then there was the Gourmet Club. What a fucking joke that was. Someone actually brought a green bean casserole, with canned green beans and Campbell’s mushroom condensed soup. Gawd, it was so funny and so sad all at the same time. After that she knew she had to get a job.

During her interview with Chuck she asked all the questions while Chuck’s girlfriend/accountant gave her the skunk-eye. Both Chuck and his girlfriend came from Paducha where Chuck’s daddy owns the Caddy dealership. Must be a lot of pimps in Paducha. Chuck and his accountant are in their late twenties and have no idea what they hell they’re doing. She must be his first interview. When she’s through asking him questions, she asks one more. “Do you want to ask me any questions?” He stands up and giving her his most charming look, which is an Elvis lip curl, sticks out his hand and says, “Welcome aboard.” She shakes his hand and asks one last question. “What do you plan to pay me to make this into a profitable venture?” His left eyelid flutters a little and he says, “$800. a month” and beams. She says without batting an eye, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and turns toward the door. He says, “Whoa, not so fast, that’s just base salary. If you can turn a profit, I’ll give you 2% and of course, you eat and drink for free.” She pauses for a couple of seconds and says, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”

“Make it 5%, and don’t hassle me about the changes I want to make. By the way, what’s your advertising budget?” She looks at the accountant who looks at Chuck who says, “Let me know what you need to spend, and we’ll pay the bills.”

“On time?”

He looks at her sideways and says, “Sure. Is that it?”

“No, I need to spend a week or so assessing staffing. Supplies., talent. Any changes I want to make, you’ll okay?”

“You’re the boss.”

“If I find that you have not paid staff, or vendors, or advertisers on time and in full, I’ll quit. Are we clear on all of that?”

“Yes mam.”

Walking to her car she knew she had just made a huge mistake, not asked for enough, got nothing in writing, but what the hell, she could always quit.

When she got home Junior was there, smoking, drinking straight lukewarm vodka in a half full ice tea glass, reading student papers. If you were a lucky student he got to your paper just before that ice tea glass was empty. By then he didn’t even bother to read them. He just gave these last four or five A’s and left it at that.
“I got a job.”
“Have you eaten?”
“NO.” He says this rather too loud for her taste, and she wants to say, “Junior, go fuck yourself,” but refrains for once because she really doesn’t give a shit if Junior’s eaten or not. She’s not cooking for him, so, why engage?

She heads for the shower. An hour later, after the shower, drying her hair, and getting dolled up a little, she grabs her handbag and starts toward the living room. Junior says in his whiniest voice, “Aren’t you going to fix dinner?”

“How astute, Junior. Was it the click click of my high heels?”


“Want to have a conversation, Junior?”

“NO. Are you going out?”



“I got a job, Junior. I told you, but it didn’t seem to register. I thought maybe you’d nodded off. I’d take you to dinner, but I doubt you could walk, and really, I want to see what the dining experience is like for a woman alone.”


“Junior? Are you in there? "Why," to what? Are you so obtuse in class?

“A restaurant? Really? Will you bring me something back?”

“Probably not, since you’ll be asleep before I get back. Stay sober and I’ll buy you dinner tomorrow night. Good night Junior.”

As she drove to Beefeaters, Judith thought about the possibilities. The place was huge. The restaurant alone seated two hundred. The bar was another hundred and fifty. Fire code said the disco could hold a maximum of five hundred. She did not know the population of Springfield, but thought keeping this place busy was really going to be a challenge. It was Thursday evening, just past 6 PM when she pulled into the parking lot. Stores were still open, but even so, the lot was almost empty. Oh God.

That first week she felt she had located all the major staffing changes she would need to make. She spent most early afternoons meeting with the back of the house—mostly the three cooks, one of whom had Culinary Institute training. They revamped the menu with specials that would not necessitate reprinting menus. Added dessert specials, everything was made in-house, bread, desserts. They worked on a new wine list. Not necessarily more expensive, but better. Printing costs would be small. She got rid of the English serving girl dresses with all the cleavage exposed, and the long skirts that were a tripping hazard, and put everybody in black pants and white shirts.

She spent her evenings in the bar. They had a cowboy quartet that started playing at six. She gave them two weeks notice and put up posters at the University’s music department and an ad in the classifieds of the News-Leader asking for jazz musicians. On a Wednesday afternoon she auditioned three groups. Hired a band called Entropy. Judith thought the band's name was pretentious and not apt, since they played quite swinging or soulful Jazz standards but decided it wasn’t worth arguing about, since very few bar patrons would have the slightest idea what the fuck it meant. She hired a great looking female bartender and kept the one male bartender who didn’t hit on her right off. She asked everyone to put out the word that she’d be looking for another bartender. She had three cocktail waitresses to start with. She’d add them as she needed.

Judith Blue was now on mission to poach talent from restaurants and bars in the surrounding counties, since she’d stolen all the good ones in Springfield. She’d left Horton’s alone because it was her only refuge from the Beefeater, so Larry and his staff were safe for now. Junior was too deep in his cups to really notice her absence.

Now she was concentrating on the disco. It’s days as a disco were numbered. Donna Summers was sort of old hat now, and it was time to transition to another incarnation. And what the fuck would that be? The place had a stage and dance floor and was too big by half. One morning in Fayetteville she stopped for breakfast at a coffee shop near the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus, and while reading the paper, noticed a small piece on page four about a club in Kansas City that sparked her interest. This little club, the Plug Nickel, had made news by offering the ladies a male strip show. The reason it made any news at all was the huge crowd it drew—all women. Fancy that. She finished her coffee, put out her smoke, left a dollar under her saucer, tucked the paper under her arm and headed for the parking lot. She climbed into her Grand Torino and lit another cigarette before she turned toward Springfield. It’s a beautiful drive once you get past the strip malls that blight the landscape around Fayetteville, Benton, Rodgers, then she’s off the beaten track and on to Cassville, then Monett. Gorgeous farmland, no strip malls here. And she’s thinking all the way home.

She spreads the word among her staff of mostly S.M.S.U. students, that she’s looking for male dancers, real dancers, for an all female audience. Within a week she has fifty eight names on an audition list. And Beefeaters is buzzing. Business is picking up at a steady rate. Sometimes on Friday and Saturday nights there is a waiting list for dinner and the overflow is enjoying the jazz in the bar. Everybody’s making money and bickering and backstabbing is at a minimum. Even Chuck and the accountant are pleased.

So far the disco is a cavern still mostly empty, despite the sound of Donna Summer, Grace Jones, Gloria Gaynor, and Chic blaring from the huge speakers, and the glittery disco ball still twirling in the darkly lit space. She has banned the Bee Gees from the playlist, but there is always a small crowd late at night around the long bar, and a few diehard dancers still making the most of the big dance floor. But the times, they are about to be changing.

For three mornings she held auditions in the empty disco. There were the dancers, the cocktail waiters, and the female DJ’s all in separate lines. Judith stood on the bar platform and told them her plan. DJ’s had always been guys, but that was going to change on Tuesday nights. The women auditioning for DJ headed to the booth. Dancers were limbering up down by the stage. And the first players in this performance were the cocktail waiters. Sixteen guys begging for ten spots. Mostly college athletes and frat boys, thinking this was going to be easy. They had to audition just like the dancers. She was going to turn the night-life gender roles upside down and see what fell out just one night a week for a month. She told everyone exactly what her intentions were and what she expected of them. She would be the choreographer, and majordoma of this whole shebang. An experienced cocktail waitress from the bar gave lessons to the waiters auditioning. They had to be able to carry a heavily loaded tray high above their heads, arm fully extended, weaving their way through closely placed tables, with a certain grace and agility without spilling a drop. Almost every guy failed his first try. The regular DJ was demonstrating in a showoffy way the inner workings of the booth. Music would get going and then stop abruptly. She left the bar tournament to the cocktail waitress and female bartender who would now make Tuesday night a regular part of her schedule. She was filling fake orders and loading those trays for those desperate waiter wannabes. Judith headed for the dancers.

This was going to be the tricky part of the whole deal. So they needed to have a little sit down. “Hi, I’m Judith Blue. Nice of you boys to show up, but this might not be exactly what you understood from the ad and posters. We are going to put on two shows a night, one night a week, for an all female audience. Women only. And you guys will be the entertainment.” There is a slight rise in the energy level of this group of attentive young men. They look at one another and smile. “I want to incorporate several elements to this performance, but I know this is a highly religious community, so to be fair to all of you, I must tell you first off, that there will be a little stripping involved. Anybody object to taking off his clothes while dancing and ending up nearly naked ought to leave now. We’re not doing anything illegal, but…” She shrugs, and sits at a table looking at the handsome, eager faces arrayed before her, spread out in repose on the dance floor, languid and muscled young men. Not a sound. No one moves to leave or even shifts his weight. “Is there a choreographer among you?” Three hands shoot up. She motions them over. They take chairs flanking her. “Will the remaining fifty or so of you break into groups of ten”? She waves her arm in the direction of the DJ booth. “Keep the volume low for awhile. We need to be able to talk in a normal tone, OK?”

There is a low murmur taking place in every part of the room now, then a large crash as one of the loaded trays hits the concrete floor. Dead silence for just a long moment, then the murmur starts again.

She has a powwow with her three choreographers and sketches out what she wants to see tomorrow, same time same place with some rough costuming. Is this possible? Yes, it turns out, it is.

Everywhere she goes she tells the women, in hushed and whispered tones that they might want to come for a special night, just for women, at the disco. At the bank, the grocery store, the doctors office, and throughout her strolls through the halls of academe.

By the following Monday morning they are ready for a dress rehearsal. She has ten well-trained waiters in short, tight, black shorts and white wife-beater t-shirts., that are wearing white tennis shoes (no socks) on their feet. She was tempted to make them wear high heels, just for the object lesson, but decided against it in the end. Her DJ is not only a hot babe, she has great taste and timing. Judith’s strippers are dressed up and ready to go. The only thing missing is the audience, but it all works flawlessly in practice.

Tuesday evening by six the restaurant is full and the bar is overflowing. Women all over the place, and the excitement of anticipation is palpable. Conversation is decidedly more animated this evening. Judith surmises that without the sobering influence of the menfolk, the women are a little more uninhibited. She opens the disco doors and there is a near stampede from the bar. Women are running for the tables up front. Oh my god. Judith has the first of what will be many moments of dismay this evening. She stands inside the huge room and watches it fill in minutes. Her waiters are in full swing fast. She slips into the stock room behind the disco bar and uses the wall-phone to tell the boys bar-tending in the bar to come into the disco and assist the waiters at either end of the bar. This frees the two women bar-tending to mix drinks for the female customers three deep the length of the disco bar. Oh shit, this is not going to work as planned, there are just too many of them. Not one single ad and this is what has happened? There is a half hour to go and she already senses the chaos that might ensue if the bar fills with men waiting for the end of the shows and the emerging women. She checks with the wait staff in the restaurant. All the waiters agree that they will help out in the bar or disco when their tables empty. The waitresses express their displeasure at being left-out. Judith says, “Check your pockets at the end of the night and then tell me how left-out you feel.”

The show is perfection. But it is not the show that concerns Judith, it is the audience. This is like a fucking rock concert. Women are screaming and jumping up and down, throwing their panties. Waiters have come to her saying women are pulling their shorts down when they bend to take an order. These guy are getting groped. What the hell’s going on here? She gets goose bumps on the back of her neck. But gives a quick demonstration on how to squat at a table to take an order so as not to get ones shorts pulled down. This does not however solve the groping behavior. These guys are going to get groped. Nothing she can do about it now.

There are obviously kinks to be worked out, but there is no denying Judith is on to something here. Just what, she is not sure. She decides right then and there to do a fashion show on Wednesday night. She wanders into the bar and sees a milling mob of men. They are waiting almost patiently.

After a month of strip shows with an ever growing mob of women and the men who follow them, she has received television news coverage as far away as Kansas City. Now she gets a visit every Tuesday evening from the fire marshal to make sure they do not exceed capacity. Two burly cops flank the stage. Boys are coming out of the woodwork begging to cocktail for free, claiming all kinds of experience. But the crowd of screaming women of all ages and in all kinds of conditions, like hugely pregnant, or swooning and falling from the arms of their chairs where they stand to get a better view, this she cannot deal with. So, once the first show starts, she heads for Horton’s for a drink and a quiet dinner.

Still Crazy After All These Years

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I was in my mid thirties when Harvey Milk was killed. So this movie, for me is a bit like watching the Titanic. I know how it's going to end. Hope I haven't ruined it for you. Add to that the recent passage of Proposition 8 in California, and similar measures in other states, and I gotta tell you, we haven't come so very far, baby. We have a long way to go. And it is the religious right that is keeping us stuck. And to be depressed anyway, this reminder is really heartbreaking. I started crying the moment the movie started and I never stopped. There were several marvelous performances, and perhaps Josh Borlin's was the most heartbreakingly perfect. I always expect Shawn Penn to wow me, and he never disappoints, but Brolin is an actor like Tommy Lee Jones who never seems to be working that hard at acting, and so he may be overlooked for the big awards. Too bad we always want to give the prizes to actors like Daniel Day Lewis, who in my opinion never takes a part that doesn't require the over-the-top bravura performance. And god help the actor like George Clooney, who not only makes it look easy, but is too handsome to be taken as seriously as he deserves. Milk is a very good movie, but I'm a very depressed movie goer who dragged myself out of bed, took a shower, and went out because it's good for me, not because I really wanted to go out.

I love Nick. I love him more than any man I know. But depression makes me terrible company. I have already placed restrictions on our friendship--I won't go to parties, or out at night. I won't go anywhere there's likely to be a crowd. And now, I won't go out as long as I'm depressed. It's just too painful. Going out makes it all the more apparent that I shouldn't be out.

I can't write. I can't think. My fingers feel as if there are weights attached, and every other word has to be retyped. It's a small agony. And worst of all, it's the season to be jolly and generous--I can't seem to fake it anymore.

So, for now I will be posting stories and poetry. I promise that none of the stories or poetry I post will be as dark as that last story of mine. Promise. Hopefully, with even a bit of humor here and there. And one of my poems has the word penis in the first line, teehee. So don't give up in me.

I'm counting on the inauguration to cheer me up, bring me back to the world of the living and the joyous, or at least the hopeful. And just maybe letting myself off the hook for awhile will bring me back to the blog as a thinking, interested, interesting person again, assuming that I ever was. And who knows, maybe this break will make it possible for me to read again. I'm such a one trick pony.

I'm Going to a Tuesday Matinee Movie With Nick, But I left This For your Entertainment

Clues for you:
The movie link is in the title of the post. New feature of blogger, or so I think.
And the entertainment I left you has nothing to do with the movie? Slick, no?

Monday, December 15, 2008

For D. K. Read


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Last Poem of the Day

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Running The Maze

Daddy was an expert at driving the lab animals mad
It was his job, it was his passion. Daddy had talent for it.
Daddy married a woman with a pretty child and no maternal
Instinct drove them to it. Unhinge that child Daddy, see what
She can take. The little whore becomes your slave until she is
Too old. Unhinge that child. What is she but a ticking time bomb.
Call her a liar and she becomes one, threaten the cage again, bind her
Mind with fear like Chinese women’s feet. Women are used to torture
The women her mother hates so much, apron wearing women,
Domesticated dumb cows. The girl will run the hamster wheel of
Repetition, repetition, repetition
Until she’s the only one left alive, alone at last. Talks about it like
Normal life, like normal life
Like normal life.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Emily Dickenson

Body Warmth , a short story

Willamina was a logging town. Surrounded by forest, dotted by ponds full of logs. It always smelled like wood smoke and pine pitch, and rich wet earth. I still love that smell. That combination of fresh rain, decaying vegetation, the smell of green and burning sawdust. I think we stayed in a motel for the first couple of days, but my memory of it has the fevered, steamy quality of an erotic dream.

Our first house was on the outskirts of town at the top of a long sloping hill. It was a small white box, with a smaller white box behind it. The garage was almost too short for the station wagon. The house had a small living room, a small kitchen, one small bathroom and one small bedroom. It had a back porch which doubled as a laundry room. The washing machine was one of the old fashioned kind that had a roller on it. It was just like Grandmother’s in Texas. The water emptied into a big, double sink. I slept across that room, next to an inside wall for warmth.

School started right away. We moved in, and Daddy and I went off to school. Maggy was left at home to do the unpacking. We didn’t bring furniture, so she had to furnish the house. She did it sparsely, beds first. Mine was a metal-framed single bed with a lumpy mattress. Theirs was a double box springs and mattress, no frame, no headboard. They eventually set it on bricks at the four corners to get it up off the floor. Two beer boxes up-ended were used as tables on either side of the bed. We used the biggest box we packed for a kitchen table. There was built-in storage in the bathroom for towels and stuff, but no chests of drawers, no dressers, no chairs to sit on when we ate dinner. Maggy hated the house and Willamina. She hated the constant rain, the 100% humidity. She hated not working. For two weeks she haunted the second-hand shops looking for the odds and ends of civilized life and found little that pleased her. The house remained sparsely furnished.

One of Daddy’s students gave me her old bicycle. I loved it even more then my bike in Salt Lake. This one was a real grown-up girls bicycle with a basket on the front and a long flat panel on the back to carry a passenger. It had a bell, too. Even with the seat as low as it would go, I could barely reach the peddles when I sat. It became my private measure for how much I was growing.

Maggy became increasingly difficult to be around. If I came straight home after school, she would hound me about cleaning my room, picking up the clothes off the floor of the curtained-off corner that was my closet. She’d say things like, “It’s about time you started to take some responsibility around here. I’m not your slave, do you understand me! You’re going to learn to clean up after yourself and start doing chores, like everybody else. Where’s your homework?”
“I did it at school, in the library. Why are you so mad at me?”
“I’m not just mad at you. I hate this place. Now help me clean up. Start in your room.”
“Why did we come here if you hate it?”
“Because it was the least of three evils.”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“I know you don’t. It doesn’t matter. Just stay out of my way and keep your room clean. I want you to clean the tub after you bathe. You could help a little more with the dishes, too. Now do what I ask, and leave me alone.” She turned her back and walked out of the kitchen into the living room where she had her sewing machine set up on a card table. She was making curtains. I stood there, very quiet, and then I went into my room and started with the closet. I picked up the piles of clothes on the floor and laid them on my bed. Then I started playing dress-up. After I tried on an outfit I hung it up or folded it, and put it in the cardboard boxes that were my chest of drawers. If something smelled really bad, I dumped it in my dirty laundry basket. Then I quietly tiptoed out the back door and got on my bicycle. I rolled out the driveway and instead of circling the house around the picket fence that surrounded the front yard, and heading down the paved road to town, I took the dirt road at the back of the house, coasting over the pot-holed, rocky surface, cruising the neighborhood, heading for the woods that bordered the north end of town, only a few blocks from our house.

I found trails among the trees, ferns as tall as a grown-up bordered the trails. I found delicate, orchid like flowers, fallen trees with trunks covered in a rug-like green moss. Within the cover of that forest, even in heavy rain I could remain remarkably dry. The trees were like gently dripping umbrellas. I found a huge variety of mushrooms and toadstools, and saw squirrels and chipmunks, does with faintly spotted fawns. I saw a skunk and he saw me. We stared at each other for a moment, then he turned and walked away, stopping once to look back at me. Then he hurried on. I went home when it started to get dark.

The smell of dinner hit me before I even opened the back door. And I could hear my mother’s voice raised. I paused with my hand on the doorknob. Maggy was raving about mildew. About mildew and money. That seemed safe enough for me to open the door. As I entered the kitchen, glancing quickly at the table to see if it needed setting, I heard her say, “So I got a job. I start work Monday. I’ll work in the front office at the Electric Company. Judy’s going to have to help out here. And I’d appreciate it if you backed me up on that. Could you try to get home a little earlier?” Then she noticed me getting silverware out of the drawer. “Where the hell did you go?”
“I just went for a bike ride.”
“Did you hear what we were talking about?”
“I heard you say you got a job.”
“Well, that’s going to mean more work for you. I’m counting on you to help me out here, okay?”
“Okay.” I went about my business of setting the table. We had chicken with dumplings and salad. It was great, one of my favorite things. A filling, comforting food. And there were leftovers to eat after school tomorrow. And nobody would be home, so I could do what I wanted and wouldn’t get yelled at. I sang as I washed the dishes. “We are poor little lambs who have gone astray, baa, baa, baa. We are little lost sheep who have lost our way, baa, baa, baa. Gentleman songsters off on a spree, doomed from here to eternity. God have mercy on such as we, baa....baa...baa.”

When I took my bath I sang “A tisket a tasket, a red and yellow basket, I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I lost it.” I couldn’t remember any of the other words, so I kept repeating the same line over and over. I scrubbed out the ring in the tub with my washcloth and bar soap. I hung up my towel. I put on my pajamas, carried my dirty clothes into my bedroom and threw them on the closet floor. Maggy was sewing, and Daddy was grading tests. I said goodnight and went to bed. I was delighted that Maggy would be going to work.

When Daddy came in the next night to read with me, he said, “It‘s cold out here. We need to get you a heater. Sit up and let me scoot in there. We can keep each other warm while we read. Did you ever hear of the Donner Party?”
“No. What kind of a party did they have?”
“They were explorers, pioneers, and they got caught in a snowstorm, crossing Donner’s Pass. That’s a high mountain pass. They ran out of food, and they were so cold. Almost as cold as I am right now.” He stuck his bare feet on the side of my calves. They were like ice.

“If I’m going to finish this story, you’re going to have to keep me warm. Come here.” He wrapped me in his arms, and pulled me close to his body. Snuggling me in close, my head nestled in his armpit. “They call it the Donner Party, because it was a group of people who all died in a horrible winter storm. Nobody was prepared for how much snow there was or how cold it got. When the horses died, they ate the horses. That kept them alive for awhile, but now and then someone died in the night, even though they all slept together, like this. Do you know the best way to stay warm?”
“To wear lots and lots of clothes and keep your hat on?”
“That’s best in the day time, but at night, even with clothes on, your body temperature drops. So the best thing to do is share body warmth with someone else. Let me show you what I mean.” I had my back to his stomach, and he scrunched back from me and pulled his sweatshirt up, and pulled his pants down. Then he moved his bare stomach and chest and legs close to me, and it was like backing close to the gas heater in the living room. Then he pulled my nighty up and it was skin to skin. My butt was cold until it snuggled into his lap, which was hotter than the rest of him. It was like the hottest part of the fire. “See what I mean? That’s how the Donner Party stayed alive as long as they did.”
“Did they all die?”
“I’ll finish that story next time, but you need to practice your reading, so read to me kiddo.”

I leaned forward, breaking contact, to reach my reader. Daddy pulled me back, and with his hand he opened my legs, slipping his penis between my legs, resting it snug against my peepee. It was warmer than anything. Then he said, “Now I’m comfortable and warm, how about you?” I nodded my head. “Well, are you going to read to me?”

I turned pages to the slow, rhythmic rocking of Daddy’s naked body behind me, between my legs. His breath was warm and wet on the top of my head. I turned another page and held my breath, listening. He whispered, “Does that feel good? Are you warm enough?” I nodded my head. He used the hand that had slipped his penis between my legs to reach across and touch himself. Then he put his fingers on my peepee and they were slippery. They slid into the lips of my peepee, and he opened them so his penis was rubbing against me closer and slippery. He whispered, “Give me your hand.” I took my hand and put it in his, and he moved them both to the hot slippery place between my legs. He put my palm over the wet round top of his penis, with his hand on top on mine, he pressed our hands around it, and our hands moved together, touching my slick peepee then pulling back to move through the crack of my bum, then forward again, so slow and warm and slippery. The inside of my thighs were slippery, too. He made a soft huffing sound and our hands filled with hot wet slimy stuff. He held my hand there, full of that stuff, while he whispered into the top of my head, “God, oh God, you are the sweetest...oh...ah, God...”Then he used the hem of my nighty to clean up our hands. It was the beginning of a new tradition.

Another tradition was shooting rats at the city dump. The only picture of me holding that gun and aiming it, is when I'm nine. The gun I'm holding in the picture is my mother's Luger pistol, a spoil of war my first father brought back from his adventures in World War II. I am a thin, long legged girl with shoulder length hair. The picture was taken at the city dump in Willamina, Oregon, in the summer. My Daddy and I are out of school and shooting rats at the dump. He leans against our ugly green station wagon, a cigarette dangles from his lips, and when he isn't aiming a camera at me, he's holding a bottle of beer and smoking a cigarette. I'm a good shot by then, but I don't remember when I held this gun for the first time. It has a fierce little kick that I have learned to control. I am standing there facing my Daddy, with the gun held in my right hand, arm extended, head turned to the right, shot by the camera in profile, squinting slightly as I aim. My left arm hangs so nonchalantly at my side. I have very good posture. I'm wearing shorts, a camp shirt, and espadrilles. It was so easy to swing that gun in a quarter arc and shoot my Daddy dead. I remember the thought drift through my brain like the wisp of a dream. And then as if it were just a dream, I do it. I don't even think about it. It just happens. That quarter swing of my arm, and I pull the trigger. My aim is wrong. The top of his head flies off and splatters the windshield of that ugly green station wagon. He doesn't make a sound. He is slumping down, sliding off the bonnet of the station wagon, missing the top of his head. Then there is the sound of the beer bottle hitting the dirt. It's a soft little sound, as the beer bubbles up and spills into the dirt. Now it's so peaceful at the dump.

I'm curious, and walk slowly toward the station wagon with the gun dangling from my right hand. The cigarettes are in the breast pocket of his short sleeved shirt. Blood and bits of other stuff are soaking the shoulders of his shirt and I want to get the cigarettes out of his pocket before they're ruined. I put the gun in his lap, and then I reach into his pocket and grab the pack of cigarettes and his zippo lighter. He's never let me use the lighter. He always lights my cigarette for me. It takes me two tries to get the flame to pop up. It's easy. I wonder why he made such a big deal about the zippo being dangerous. I sit in the dirt, and lean back against the tire in the shade. It's so quiet. I can hear birds chirping and a squirrel scolding off in the distance, the sound of insects.